What to Do With Buttermilk After Making Butter?

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’ve made homemade butter, chances are there will be some left over buttermilk. Don’t throw it away—there are numerous tasty and creative uses for what is otherwise a delicious by-product of the butter-making process!

In this article, we will explore what to do with buttermilk after making butter.

8 Uses for Leftover Buttermilk

  1. Use it as a marinade. Buttermilk is an excellent marinade for chicken, pork or fish and can help keep meats tender and juicy even after long cooking times.
  2. Make a delicious buttermilk cake. There are plenty of recipes online for making cakes with buttermilk that make a perfect dessert.
  3. Substitute buttermilk for regular milk in baking recipes. It adds flavor, moisture and a slight tanginess to cakes and cookies
  4. Add some zing to your pancakes or waffles. Buttermilk makes a great substitute for regular milk in pancake batter or as an addition to waffle mix.
  5. Substitute buttermilk for yogurt or mayonnaise in salad dressings and sauces. It gives a unique flavor to condiments that can really liven up your meals!
  6. Use it as a refreshing beverage. Buttermilk is high in protein, low in fat and has a great taste when added to smoothies or just enjoyed on its own.
  7. Make creamy mashed potatoes. Adding some buttermilk to your mashed potato recipes gives them a nice texture and subtle flavor
  8. Use it instead of oil in bread recipes. If you’re trying to cut down on oil consumption, then using buttermilk in place of oil in your bread recipes is a great way to do so

These are just some of the uses for leftover buttermilk after making butter. There are many other creative and delicious ways to use what would otherwise be an unused by-product. Get creative with your cooking and try out different recipes with buttermilk! You may find that you enjoy it as much as homemade butter.

The Benefits of Buttermilk

Buttermilk is also good for your health. It’s full of beneficial bacteria which helps boost the immune system and can aid in digestion. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. In addition to this, buttermilk has been found to be a great source of probiotics which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall gut health [1].

Buttermilk History

Buttermilk has a long history in the culinary world. Its use dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome where it was used for baking bread and making ricotta cheese. It also featured prominently in medieval Europe, and over time became a staple of American cooking.

How Long Does Buttermilk Last After Making Butter?

homemade buttermilk

Buttermilk is generally safe to consume for up to a week after it has been made. However, it will start to spoil sooner if not refrigerated correctly. To ensure that your buttermilk stays fresh, store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

How Do You Drain Buttermilk From Butter?

When making butter there will usually be some buttermilk left in the mix. To remove this, simply transfer your butter to a cheesecloth-lined sieve and let it drain for several minutes. Once the excess liquid has been removed, you can then store or use your butter as desired.

When Should You Discard Buttermilk?

If you are unsure about the freshness of your buttermilk, it is best to discard it. If it has been left out at room temperature for more than two hours or has developed an off-putting odor, then it should be discarded immediately. You should also discard any buttermilk that has been frozen as this can affect its taste and texture.

What Happens if Buttermilk Is Not Separated From Butter?

If you forget to separate the buttermilk from your homemade butter, it can affect the texture and taste negatively. The buttermilk may make the butter too soft or give it an unpleasant flavor. To avoid this, make sure to carefully rinse and drain the butter before using it in recipes or storing it for later use.

What Happens if You Don’t Get All the Buttermilk Out of Your Butter?

If you don’t manage to get all of the buttermilk out of your butter, it can affect its texture. The butter will be softer and more likely to melt at room temperature. In addition, the taste may not be as desired so it is important to try and remove as much buttermilk from the mix as possible before using or storing your butter.


Buttermilk is a great product to have on hand when making butter. It can also be used in a variety of other recipes, from smoothies and mashed potatoes to breads and cakes. However, it’s important to store buttermilk correctly and discard any that has gone bad or been frozen.


Lauren Beck
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